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14 Does your agency have a formal process for Table 3. Transit agency funding of IT/ITS projects. comparing and selecting among different proposed IT/ITS projects? Number of Agencies Using Funding Approach Funding Approach, N=12 If a respondent said their organization did not have a BCM, Debt Financing 5 they were not asked this question. Mostly the answer to this Capital Leas e Financing 2 question was "no," although several said that having a stan- dard form for proposing projects helped with the comparison Public-Private Partnerships 3 process. TriMet said they had a three-category classification of Credit Enhancement 2 projects, which are Mandatory, Highly Recommended, and Discretionary. Others said that their organization had tried Pay-Go 12 different approaches but did not currently have a repeatable Co-mingling 12 process in place. Source: TCRP Project J-09, Funding Implementation Survey (January 2009). MARTA is pleased that the selection of projects is done through the IT Governance committees, which include tran- sit management. At their agency, users prioritize all the IT Use of the SE Process by Transit Agencies projects. This relatively new process "ended the old user com- Almost all of the agencies interviewed indicated they used plaints about IT pushing them." some type of development process or did some aspects of the SE process. Only two answered "no" or "not really" to the IT/ITS Funding Implementation basic question, "Do you use a Systems Engineering Process for project/system development?" A closer examination of the Transit agencies are applying the full range of financing interview responses shows that about one-half of the agencies mechanisms to make IT/ITS investments from large enterprise technology replacement projects to small automated vehicle could be described as having a development process, and of location (AVL) projects. Pay-Go is the primary financing mech- these only a couple are really using the SE process. Why the anism used by most transit agencies. However, comingling of discrepancy? There are several key reasons: funds and public-private partnerships (PPP) are starting to be Low level of knowledge of the SE process among agency used more frequently. For example, Salt Lake City Utah Transit Authority (UTA) personnel. In several cases, the agency response was that co-mingled $12.3 million to acquire an account-based fare col- we do whatever parts of the process the contractor pro- lection system and a performance reporting system. WMATA vides. It seems in some cases the agencies are content to is pursuing a public-private partnership to finance, design, rely solely on whatever level of expertise the contractor implement, operate, maintain, and manage content of a provides. In one or two of the agencies they specifically hire streaming video advertisement and passenger information a contractor to be their system engineer, providing the SE system called "The Metro Channel." Southeastern Pennsyl- expertise that they lack. vania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) is another transit Existing project management or system development agency considering an ITS public-private partnership, in their processes. Several of the agencies that could be considered effort to replace an antiquated fare collection system. more advanced (based on the number and scope of their ITS Table 3 summarizes how 12 transit agencies participating deployments) have a definite process orientation, but in in the survey financed their IT/ITS projects. most cases this orientation is strong on project management (or in one case business management) but not strong in the technical development process that systems engineering Systems Engineering (SE) represents. Because of the project management focus, these In order to determine where transit agencies stand on under- agencies have a structured view of tracking the project's standing and use of Systems Engineering (SE) for ITS project progress against cost and schedule. They may also have development, a portion of each transit agency interview was detailed consideration of such cross-cutting activities as risk devoted to the use of SE. For several of the agencies that management. However, what these processes lack is the had recent experience with the systems engineering process, technical development process, with its Concept of Opera- an additional set of interview questions was posed to assess tions (focusing on the stakeholder needs and the operational whether the agencies had seen benefits from their use of the scenarios of the systems), formal requirements definition, Systems Engineering process, particularly the process recom- design tradeoffs, and verification against requirements. They mended by the U.S. DOT guidance. The discussion below each cover parts of these activities (most often the require- highlights the key findings from the interviews. ments definition), but not all of them.